Ambrose So expects Palace opening in 19H2

SJM chief executive Ambrose So Shu Fai is expecting the Grand Lisboa Palace to open in the second half of 2019, adding to the tourism offerings in the Greater Bay Area, Macau News reports.

Mr. So made the announcement on Thursday during a speech at the company’s cocktail reception marking the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

SJM was planning to open its new HK$36 billion (US$4.6 billion) property by the end of 2018, but delays including a construction fire last year have pushed back the expected date.

Earlier this year, Mr. So also noted that the opening of the new property in either 2019 or 2020 will not be a full opening – rather a phased opening.

Responding to the installation of smoking lounges, Mr. So urged for the government to simplify procedures of the installation and inspection of lounges, which require approval from several entities. He also asked for an extension to the deadline for the application of upgraded smoking lounges.

On Thursday, the Health Bureau said it is still accepting applications for smoking lounges.

It warned that smoking lounges that have not been approved or do not meet new standards by January 1 will be ordered to shut down, and the operator fined up to MOP200,000.

As of September 28, the bureau has received applications for 404 smoking lounges from 27 casinos in Macau, it said.